New York State has strict laws regarding driving without a valid license. Your license may have been suspended for many different reasons, but you cannot operate a motor vehicle until your license is reinstated. But because not being able to drive is difficult, some people choose to drive with a suspended license anyway.

Driving without a valid driver’s license is a serious offense. If you get caught driving with a suspended license in New York State, you’ll receive even harsher consequences than driving without a license. If you are arrested for driving during your suspension period, get in touch with a Long Island criminal lawyer immediately.

What Are the Consequences for Driving While Suspended or Revoked in NY?

If your license is suspended, you may be tempted to drive your car. You risk several consequences if you’re caught.

Criminal Record

Driving on a suspended driver’s license is a criminal offense in New York with formal charges called Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). A conviction can leave you with a permanent record and affect your employment and housing opportunities, and even immigration status.

Increased Insurance Premiums

Your insurance rates are likely to skyrocket if you are caught driving on a suspended license. You will be categorized as a high-risk driver, which means there’s also a possibility of your insurer dropping you altogether.

  • Jail time
  • Drivers can get between 30 days and four years in jail if convicted for AUO
  • Fines
  • License revocation
  • Loss of your car
  • Probation

Looking at these consequences, you urgently need to get a qualified Long Island suspended license defense attorney to help you counter them. Remember, this is not a regular traffic ticket, it is a more serious crime.

What Charges Will Be Brought Against a Driver with A Suspended Driver’s License?

You can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor in New York if found to be driving on a suspended license. This will significantly depend on the surrounding circumstances.

You can be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation as a misdemeanor which can either be second-degree or third-degree AUO. First-degree AUO is a Class E felony.

Third Degree AUO

In most cases, motorists driving with a suspended license will be charged with 3rd degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Here, the motorist is found operating a vehicle with the knowledge of having a suspended or revoked license.

It carries $200-$500 in fines and a prison term of not more than 30 days. A person may also receive both.

Second Degree AUO

In some cases, you may be charged with a more serious offense; aggravated unlicensed operation in the 2nd degree. Here, you have a previous 3rd-degree AUO within the last 18 months. You may also have refused a field sobriety test at a DWI stop in Long Island. It may also be brought because you’ve had more than three suspensions imposed on you on at least three different instances for failure to appear, answer or pay fine. Or, your suspension was actually mandatory as you awaited prosecution for a DWI charge in Long Island, NY.

The penalty includes a fine of between $500 and $1,000 and seven to 180 days’ jail time. A second driving while suspended charge within 18 months will also get your vehicle impounded and only released to a licensed owner after all costs are paid, and there’s proof of insurance.

First Degree AUO

This felony charge involves:

  • Committing a 2nd degree AUO under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Committed the crime while under permanent revocation, which arose from three DWI convictions, two DWI convictions with severe injury or death, or three refusals to submit a chemical test.
  • Committed the offense while having ten or more previous license suspensions for failure to appear or pay fines.
  • Committed the offense under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a DWI conditional license

A Class E conviction carries $500 to $5,000 in fines ad up to four years in state prison, or both. Your car may also be seized, and you may never get it back.

New York prohibits prosecutors from negotiating down any AUO violations to lesser charges. Therefore, you will need a strategic and experienced Long Island suspended license defense attorney to fight these charges on your behalf. Don’t risk going through the charges alone. Get legal advice in Long Island first.

Will an Out-of-State Police See My Long Island License Suspension?

Yes, the police will likely see the New York suspension even if you have a current and valid out-of-state license. It’s also possible to get your out-of-state license suspended too in response to your New York suspension.

How Can I Defend Myself Against These Penalties?

You are likely to get your charges reduced or dismissed if you can prove that you were unaware of your license suspension because you:

  • Didn’t receive any written notice either by email, mail, text, etc.
  • Didn’t receive any verbal notice of the suspension, e.g., via call, etc.

Get A Restricted License in Long Island

In some instances, with proper legal defense and eligibility, you may qualify for a restricted license and keep your license.

With a restricted license, you may be able to:

  • Take your kids to and from school or daycare
  • Drive to work or school
  • Drive to and from healthcare facilities
  • Drive to and from court or DMV because of issues related to your restricted license

A Skilled Attorney Fighting for Your Driving Privileges

New York has some of the most stringent traffic laws. You should talk to a lawyer to ensure you are well represented in court against AUO charges in Long Island for the best outcomes. The penalties associated with getting caught with a suspended license can greatly impact your life.

Talk to a suspended license defense attorney in Long Island if you are arrested with a suspended or revoked license. Your situation may look bleak, but the criminal justice lawyers at our law firm can aggressively fight for you using years of experience representing others just like you. Get in touch today to get started.